Quick Links

Something to talk about? Not Eagles

562602.png

Something to talk about? Not Eagles

Heres the early forecast out of Philadelphia: less yakking.

In a report at The 700 Level blog about the Eagles full-squad organized team activities, the indication was that the players will head into 2012 feeling that they botched their approach to last season. As Eagles safety Kurt Coleman said:

Last year, I think we wanted to take things for granted because we did have a talented team, and we just didnt always put it together and I think we lost our edge as far as getting aggressive, going out there and working for everything; this year, were not going to talk, were just going to out there and work hard, and Im loving it; I love what were about, I love our attitude every time we approach this field.

So dont expect any dream team talk this year.

The same theme was sounded by running back LeSean McCoy (via ESPN.com): We learned a lot. I think it humbled us. With all the big-time players that we have, we really have to check ourselves and go into the season to prove ourselves.

"I really think all of the hype is out the window, and it's a new year. I think there's a lot of pressure for us as players. We have to make sure we do the right things."

And from wide receiver Jason Avant: Nobody cares if you're the Eagles -- your talent, your roster, your quarterback, your receivers. You've got to go out and work hard. And that's it."

So the brash Eagles are sounding humble. Of course, after an 8-8 season, they have a lot to be humble about.

Quick Links

Redskins rookie Robert Kelley has funny, honest reaction to his first NFL carries

Redskins rookie Robert Kelley has funny, honest reaction to his first NFL carries

It took three games but last Sunday in New York Redskins rookie running back Rob Kelley finally hit the field with the offense. His effectiveness was middling as he ran four times for seven yards, but Kelley showed himself to be capable of backing up Matt Jones as a conventional runner.

The rookie from New Orleans also explained why a few of his runs were cut short.

"I think I was too excited, I kept slipping around or something," Kelley said on Wednesday.

Twice Kelley lost his footing on the Giants Stadium turf, and the slips ruined what could have been opportunities for solid gains. In preseason action Kelley did a good job of identifying holes to run through, and despite the footing issues, that skill showed in New York as well.

"We hadn't been on turf in a long time. Even in pregame, we had a little trouble keeping grounded on the turf," Kelley explained. "I think I saw the holes pretty well, I think I was making the cuts I needed to make, I just got to stay on my feet next time."

Kelley has been active for all three 'Skins games this season but did not record a carry until the third, coincidentally the team's first win. His first game action on offense was quite a jolt for the rookie.

"It was more exciting. Preseason is cool but you go out in a real game it's different," he said. "Once I got out there I thought I was going to be nervous. I wanted to make some plays. I was actually shocked I wasn't kinda nervous, I was more excited than anything."

While Kelley's performance was not the spark responsible for victory, getting carries to a third running back - after Jones and Chris Thompson - shows a true commitment to the run game from Jay Gruden and Sean McVay. That commitment was missing the first two games.

"When Matt Jones get a few more carries I think it's a good sign for me to get some," Kelley said. "I think coach has put together a good game plan for us."

For Jones, he was happy to see Kelley get rush attempts. Just last season, Jones was the rookie hitting the field for the first time.

"It was good to see him get some carries and get downhill," Jones said. The 'Skins starting runner added of Kelley's footing, "He knows he's got to stay on the ground."

Committing to the run for Washington means committing to Jones primarily, yet it could also mean more carries for Kelley. Odds are in his next NFL action he can keep his feet on the ground.

<<<CLICK HERE TO LAUNCH REDSKINS TALK PODCAST>>>

Quick Links

New Redskins center Sullivan says he'll be ready quickly

New Redskins center Sullivan says he'll be ready quickly

It’s a story that happens all around the NFL every week. Players get injured on Sunday, calls go out to veterans on Monday, they try out and sign on Tuesday. Then the hard work of learning a new team’s system begins, a task that is especially tough when the new player is a center with all of the protection and other calls that have to come from that position. Other than quarterback it’s the toughest transition in the NFL.

But new Redskins center John Sullivan doesn’t seem to be that worried about it.

“It just takes time to get calls down,” said the former Viking. “Essentially, most football’s the same. There are certain changes here and there I’ve played in a few systems so there’s some carry over more from the first system I was in in Minnesota. But it’s just getting Bill [Callahan’s] calls down, Bill’s techniques, all that stuff. The guys are helping me along and Bill is doing a good job so I think I’ll have them pretty quick.”

Sullivan certainly has a lot of experience in football. From 2008-2014 he started 93 of a possible 96 games at center for the Vikings. But he missed all of the 2015 season after having back surgery. He returned to Minnesota this year but he was released on August 30. He says his health hasn’t been an issue going back to the start of offseason work in April.

“At that point, you get through a couple of days not feeling any restrictions and you start to really forget about it,” he said.

Now it’s time for the crash course in Gruden/McVay/Callahan Offense 101.

“I feel like I’m back in training camp, trying to learn an offense, spending a lot of time here at the facility and staying in a hotel room close by,” said Sullivan. “It’s a little bit different but it’s exciting all the same.”

It remains to be seen what role Sullivan will play. With Kory Lichtensteiger out for at least eight weeks the starting center job is vacant. Spencer Long can start there and he may be the long-term answer at the position. But while left guard Shawn Lauvao is sidelined with an ankle injury the logical move is to have Long, who started 13 games at left guard last year, play there. That would open up center for Sullivan.

Stay tuned. For strategic reasons there is no reason for Gruden to announce anything about his starting offensive line in advance of when the offense takes the field for the first time against the Browns. We may not know until then.